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Spring in the Air, Spring Venture head OBS Championship Stakes

Spring comes early to Ocala as graded stakes winners Spring in the Air and Spring Venture headline the $100, 000 OBS Championship Stakes as OBS holds its 24th annual Day of Champions race card on Monday, March 11th.

The four races, for three-year-olds who have gone through the ring at an OBS sale, offer purses totaling $300,000 and will be streamed live via the OBS website at as well as the DRF and Bloodhorse websites. Post time for the first race is 1:00 p.m.

Trainer Mark Casse will saddle both daughters of Spring at Last in the mile and a sixteenth OBS Championship Stakes for fillies, the third race on the card. John C. Oxley’s Spring in the Air’s juvenile campaign was highlighted by her victory in the prestigious Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. Patrick Husbands, who rode her in the Alcibiades, has been named to ride.

Spring Venture, supplemented to the race by Casse for owners Gary Barber and Stoneway Farm LLC, beat Spring in the Air last fall in the Natalma Stakes (G2) at Woodbine then returned to score in the Mazarine Stakes (G3).  Luis Saez has the riding assignment.

The field in post position order: Gold Square LLC’s Wickapecko, Joe Rocco; Christine Vogt’s Cotton Pickin, Ronnie Allen Jr.; Maestre Racing Stable and Joseph A. Arango’s One Eye Cap, Eddie Dominguez; Pinnacle Racing Stable’s Cupids Messenger, Juan Leyva; Spring Venture; West Point Thoroughbreds’ Toasting, Joel Rosario; Rich Cecrle and Jennifer Hayford-Quinones’s Time Is Forever, Alex Gonzalez; Spring in the Air. All carry 120 pounds.

The afternoon’s final race is the $100,000 OBS Championship Stakes for colts and geldings at a mile and a sixrteenth.  The race drew a field of nine, headed by TriStar Racing LLC, Joe B. Denson and Brent Gasaway’s graded stakes placed Brown Almighty, winner of the Sunny’s Halo Stakes on the turf at Louisiana Downs last summer. The first stakes winner for sire Big Brown, he ships in from Oaklawn Park for trainer Tim Ice and will be ridden by Terry Thompson.

Mark Casse sends out graded stakes placed Indiano Jones and stakes placed Sky Commander for John C. Oxley. Joel Rosario will ride Indiano Jones while Patrick Husbands will be aboard Sky Commander.

Pinnacle Racing Stables’ Uptown Anthem, on the board in three stakes at Calder at two, ships in for trainer Bill Kaplan. The gelding by Gotcha Gold will be ridden by Juan Leyva.

Todd Pletcher has supplemented Barber & Barber’s Jack Milton to the OBS Championship. The War Front colt won at first asking at Gulfstream and was second in a good effort in his only other start. Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, aboard in both races, again has the assignment.

The field in post position order: Sky Commander; Tami Dellatore-Bobo’s Hesa Big Dude, Jesse Campbell; Indiano Jones; Kenwood Racing LLC’s Michael With Us, Edgar Prado; Michael L. Reavis’ Rico Suave, Ronnie Allen Jr.; Ken & Sarah Ramsey’s Brazilian Court, Joel Rosario; Uptown Anthem; Brown Almighty; Jack Milton. All will carry 122 pounds.

Stakes winners Cor Cor and Leinan get top billing in the first race on the card, the $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes for fillies at six furlongs. Steve Ballou and Harriet Waldron’s Cor Cor comes in off a 4-1/2 length victory in the Battle of New Orleans Stakes on the turf at Fair Grounds. The Florida-bred filly by Smoke Glacken, a supplemental entry, suffered her only defeat when second to the highly regarded Kauai Katie Gulfstream’s Old Hat Stakes (G3) on New Year’s Day after winning Tampa’s Sandpiper Stakes in December. Scott Spieth will ride for trainer Joan Scott.

James and Alice Sapara’s Leinan ended her juvenile campaign in style with a win in Woodbine’s Glorious Song Stakes in November The Florida-bred Bwana Charlie filly comes in with earnings of $145,773 for trainer Josie Carroll. Joel Rosario has been named to ride.

Here are the horses and riders in post position order for the six furlong race for 3-year-old fillies: Bernard G. Schaeffer’s Wild For Love, Joe Rocco; John C. Oxley’s Send An Angel, Gary Boulanger; Equels Marro Racing LLC’s Circular Rainbow, Antonio Gallardo; Klaravich Stables, Inc. and  William Lawrence’s Over the Counter, Luis Saez; K.K. & V. Devi Jayaraman’s Baby Princess, Manoel Cruz; Cor Cor; Robert  A. Norman’s Dreamlicious, Juan Leyva; Leinan; Rodney R. Rowles’ Bwana Go Fast, Jermaine Bridgmohan. All will carry 120 pounds.

Seven will go in the six furlong $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes for colts and geldings, headed by Amaty Racing Stables and Sterlng Stables’ Mind Spell, third last out in a sharp effort in a Tampa Bay Downs allowance. The Florida-bred son of Proud Accolade, trained by Jason Dacosta, will be ridden by John Velazquez.

The field in post position order: Tommy Roberts Racing Stable LLC’s Capital City, Joel Rosario; Tom Gregerson’s Rammer, Jose A. Garcia; Alan J. Garey’s Dixie Deputy, Luis Saez; Rick Shanley’s Pro Prospect, Edgar Prado; Mind Spell; John C. Oxley’s Conquestor, Gary Boulanger; Rancho Grande Farm Inc. and Ideas Medical, Inc.’s King Solomon, Federico Mata. All will carry 122 pounds.

For more information regarding the OBS Championship Stakes, please call (352) 237-2154 or visit the OBS website at